By BENJAMIN OMOIKE
The management of Kubwa General Hospital, Abuja, has denied admitting a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, as one of its patients.
Through its head of medical records, Bassey Amah, the hospital told Justice Olubunmi Abike-Fadipe of the Lagos State Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, that a medical report presented in court by the former minister was not issued by the hospital.
Amah, who is the first prosecution witness in the case, said that Fani-Kayode is not a patient and has no medical report in the hospital.
Fani-Kayode is standing trial before the court on a 12-count charge of procurement of a “fabricated” medical report and use of the false document.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), had specifically accused Fani-Kayode of procuring one Dr Ogieva Oziegbe to issue the fake medical report, which he allegedly tendered before the Federal High Court, where he is standing trial before Justice Daniel Osiagor for money laundering. The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
At the resumed hearing of the matter before Justice Abike-Fadipe during the week, the witness testified that the doctor, who purportedly signed the medical report tendered by the former minister, is not a doctor at Kubwa General Hospital.
While being led in evidence by the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, the witness said, that the hospital on October 3, 2021, received a letter from the EFCC to investigate the authenticity of a medical report on Fani-Kayode.
Amah said that the hospital’s investigation revealed that the defendant does not have any record with the facility. He also maintained that the medical report purportedly emanating from his hospital was forged, meaning that “the document is not authentic”.
When the EFCC counsel attempted to tender the letter of request, dated 3rd October 2021 and written to the hospital by the commission and the response to the letter from Kubwa General Hospital dated 13th October 2021, the defence lawyer, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Norrison Quakers, objected to the admissibility of the documents.
Quakers based his objection on the premise that the witness in the box was not the maker of the document and could not give evidence on it.
But Oyedepo urged the court to dismiss the objection. He argued that “the document tendered is a public document. It emanated from Kubwa General Hospital and the witness in the box has given evidence on oath.”
“He has given evidence on how they received the document, how it was investigated and how the letter was prepared,” he said.
The EFCC lawyer argued that from the role the witness played in the making of the document, he can be described as the maker of the document.
Justice Abike-Fadipe ruled in favour of the EFCC and held that though the letter was issued by the hospital, the hospital itself cannot come to give evidence and can only do so via one of its human personnel.
She ruled, “I am satisfied that the witness in the box is competent to testify.”
Oyedepo leading the witness on, asked, “Do you know Abdulrazak Jimoh?” The witness replied, “He is a staff of Kubwa General Hospital.”
When asked about a certain Tochukwu Eze in the hospital who purportedly works as a Chief of Medical Record.
“I don’t know him,” the witness replied.
“Do you know Dr Ogieva Oziegbe?” “Yes, he was in Kubwa General Hospital.” Has your facility issued any other medical report about this defendant? He answered, “No. The name is not even found there.”
The witness also said, “The doctor that signed the medical report is not our doctor. The number is not our hospital unit number.
Justice Abike-Fadipe adjourned for continuation of the trial